By Anthony Capkun
April 18, 2013 – Today in the U.S., the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and IBEW saluted “the men and women who risk their lives daily to keep electricity flowing to the nation’s homes and businesses”.
Besides constructing and maintaining electric transmission and distribution facilities, lineworkers are also essential public service providers, getting the lights back on quickly and safely following outages.
“More homes and businesses lost power as a result of Sandy than from any other storm in U.S. history—estimates are that 10 million customers were impacted,” said EEI president Tom Kuhn. “The industry assembled a virtual army of 67,000 utility lineworkers and tree cutters, representing 80 companies—from as far away as Canada, California and Hawaii. They risked their lives working around the clock to complete the restoration process, which was extremely technical, time-consuming and dangerous. The nation’s lineworkers deserve this recognition every day of the year.”
“Hurricanes, ice storms and other devastating natural disasters certainly put the spotlight on the nation’s power lineworkers,” said IBEW president Ed Hill. “We’re grateful to these courageous, hardworking folks who deal with the dangers of electricity during these critical periods, as well as every working day. Their dedication to their work and their commitment to excellence are things that the IBEW is proud to recognize.”
To honour the nation’s lineworkers, congressman Phil Gingrey along with senators Johnny Isakson and Michael Bennet have submitted resolutions (H. Res. 25 and S. Res. 95, respectively) in support of designating April 18, 2013, as National Linemen Appreciation Day. The Senate unanimously approved its resolution on April 10.